March 2017 new empties – skincare, hair, food, misc

I am constantly testing new skincare products and sometimes I forget how I felt about certain things in the past. That’s when empties posts come in handy. I hope they might be helpful to you too! 

P.S. I try to post mini product reviews on Instagram and here is my Instagram ID: skincarejunkie_03 

First up are two high-end skincare products from Kate Somerville & Sulwhasoo. I have used up probably 85% of these and I’m getting rid of them as they’ve passed the 12-month expiration date since they were opened last year. I’m not in love with any of these two products. I bought the Kate Somerville d-scar scar diminishing serum to treat my acne scars (I have a soft spot for all acne treatment products as I’m suffering from adult acne from time to time). 

The main ingredient is a trademarked peptide that’s beneficial for the skin cell renewal process. However, the squeeze tube and its metal ball applicator make it hard to use on a daily basis. If you don’t remember to wipe away the cream residue on the metal ball, the next time you use it, you will see a lot of disgusting yellowish dried cream balling along the rim of the applicator.

At the $48 price tag for a 0.66 oz tube, I’d expect more thoughts into the packaging. For that reason, it did not make it into my daily skincare routine and it did not work on my acne scars when I was using it occasionally. 

A lot of people swear by the high-end Korean skincare brand Sulwhasoo. The prices in the US almost double those in Asia, which is why I only got the overnight mask that’s on the affordable side of this line to try it out. If I like it, I will buy more in Asia. For its price ($52 for a 4-oz tube), it’s not a bad product but I’ve realized that this line does not fit my skin type and I will not be purchasing any more products in the same line. 

Unlike the Kate Somerville serum, I was testing out this mask consistently. I initially used it as an overnight mask as it suggests but it made my face so greasy and shiny in the morning which I don’t like. I then used it as a regular wash-off mask and take it off after wearing it for 30-40 minutes, and it’s better. It is a very hydrating mask so it did help when my skin was experiencing dryness in a few areas occasionally in winter time. If you have dry skin, I think you will love it. But for my combination skin, this is simply too rich and I think it might have contributed to some breakouts due to the thickness of the cream. 

Next up are a few travel size skincare products and a Japanese baking soda toothpaste that I paid over $25 (hmm not sure what I was thinking on that one…).

From left to right are:

  • Clarins uv protection sunscreen – it’s a running fluid texture, and is not greasy once it skins into the skin and it wears well under makeup
  • Elizabeth Arden prevage anti-aging serum – I’ve not formed my opinion around this yet. It is supposed to be very effective to brighten your skin and even your skin tone but I feel it’s a bit too oily for my taste. I actually have the full size serum too so I will share my thoughts once I open up that one. 
  • Shisedo white Lucent serum – feels great, very lightweight, and gets absorbed by the skin quickly. 
  • Bumble & Bumble hair thickening spray – my first hair thickening spray. This actually works and the results last all day unlike the R+Co one I’m currently using. But it’s still a hair spray so you will feel it in your hair. It does its job. I might repurchase this later.
  • Japanese baking soda toothpaste – hmm it gives your mouth a slightly salty taste rather than a minty taste most of the toothpastes do, which I don’t hate. It does clean your teeth pretty well but I don’t think it’s worth the $25+ price tag. It probably is a lot cheaper to buy it in Asia though. 

Next up are some samples and the Shisedo cotton pad empty bag. Let me start with the Shisedo cotton pads – they are amazing! They are thicker and softer than any cotton pads I’ve used. Whenevet I use them, I feel I’m giving my skin the gentlest care and best treatment it deserves. While this will not be the only cotton pads I keep at home as they cost $10 per bag which I used up within 30 days, this is now a staple in my stash as I’ve not yet found a better alternative. 

I was surprisingly disappointed in the Loccitane almond body concentrate as I’ve heard nothing but great things about it. But I don’t care for its scent or feel and I will not be purchasing the full size product. 

Above are two foaming cleansers that I feel are almost identical in texture and results when I apply them over the face. I like both and I’ve purchased the full size one of the Origins checks and balances foaming cleanser since. 

Next up are some staples including my favorite snacks. A quick note on the organic shampoo I bought at Whole Foods: it’s okay. I will not be repurchasing it.

That’s it for this post. Thank you for stopping by 🙂

2017 first beauty empties – skincare, hair, makeup

In my monthly empties, I usually share with you my thoughts on products that range from skincare to hair, body & makeup, and let you know whether I will repurchase the products.

  • My skin type: combo oily in summer, combo dry in winter, acne-prone
  • My hair type: oily scalp and dry hair ends
  • Product usage pattern & preference: affordable makeup & hair products (indulge in certain categories), high-end skincare

Eyes: Revive moisturizing renewal eye cream 

This eye cream is amazing if you have dry, fine line concerns under the eyes! It’s on my top 3 eye cream list for the results it delivers. It’s an expensive eye cream but a small jar goes a long way. I highly recommend it if you don’t mind investing a bit more in skincare.

Repurchase? Yes! I already bought a second jar.

Makeup remover: Lashfood instant eye makeup remover 

I don’t remember why & where I got this as I’ve never heard anyone talk about this product but I’m so glad I bumped into this! It’s extremely gentle, will never sting your eyes, gives you a spa-like treatment with a pleasant smell and texture, and is very effective at taking off makeup (I don’t use it for waterproof mascara though).

Repurchase? Yes after I use up my other makeup removers.

Face: Sunday Riley Luna Oil & Good Genes

Good genes is indeed a good facial treatment but it smells awful. For that reason I’m a still at fence about it. The Luna oil on the other hand is magical! I use it when I have breakouts and the Luna oil helps clear up my skin a lot faster. The trick is that you have to pad and massage the oil into your skin until the blue color disappears. This step alone made a huge difference for me on how Luna oil performs. It is also an anti-aging product.

Repurchase? Yes for Luna oil, maybe for good genes (only because I heard Luna oil works even better when used with Good Genes, not sure about that).

Face: Moisturizers, serum & cleanser

The only two items below that I might repurchase are:

Avene Hydrance cream: it’s very rich but not greasy and is great to use under makeup in the winter time

Caudalie creme sorbet: it’s very lightweight, smells and feels delightful on the skin and can be a good moisturizer in the summer time

Makeup declutter:

The Estée Lauder sumptuous mascara is great at volumizing and holding the curls. Repurchase? Yes, if I remember it after I go through my other mascaras

The Colourpop eyebrow pencil is too pigmented and waxy for my taste and I prefer a more natural brow pencil. Repurchase? No.

The wet N wild eyeliner pencil and the Kardashian bronzer both have unnatural shimmering effect and I’m just throwing these out. Failure.

Kate Somerville exfoliator

It’s good if you let it stay on your face for 2-3 minutes before rinsing it away. A gentle exfoliator. Repurchase? Maybe 

Perricond MD cream: I am not a big fan of this entire skincare line after trying out multiple products. They are just okay and definitely not worth the price tag in terms of results. Repurchase? NO

Alterna caviar hair conditioner: it’s just okay. Did not provide deep hydration on my hair ends and is not worth the price. Repurchase? NO

More hair:

I have already repurchased the John Frieda subtle lightening shampoo. I dye my hair and this is the first hair lightening product I’ve tried and it actually worked. It helped keep my roots at a lighter and brighter color. The OGX flat iron spray is nothing unique.

Bath & Body Works Candle: This scent is too subtle for me. Repurchase? No

The Trader Joe’s facial cleansing pads are horrible. They are extremely harsh and I ended up using them on my feet… Stay away from them.

Sorry this turned out to be such a long post. Hope you might find it helpful and thanks for stopping by!

Massive beauty empties – buy again or bye forever?

I can finally throw out the big bag of empty bottles and jars after posting this and it feels good 🙂

First up are a few staples I have stocked up already. 

  • The La Roche-posay facial mist is one of my favorite facial mists as it produces soothing, calming, hydrating fine mist, and you can use up the last drop of it with the awesome spray nozzle unlike most other spray bottles in the market.
  • The Nizoral shampoo is not the most affordable anti-dandruff shampoo but it does make your hair very fluffy and clean afterwards.
  • The vaseline hand cream doesn’t smell nice but it is very nourishing and not overly greasy.

Next are things that I will not buy either because they are not good products or I have found better options in the same category.

  • These 3-step masking system from Ole Henriksen are relatively new and they do help create a more brightening look but they are overpriced in my opinion as they cost over $50 just for 6 uses due to the separate palette packaging. I’d pay more for a high-end brightening mask that you can get a lot more uses out of a tube/jar.

  • This Sun Bum sunscreen spray for body is way too oily and smells very chemical. 

  • This hydrating serum and the Farmacy mist are just okay. Nothing stood out. 

  • The Essence nail polish didn’t work for me although a lot people like it. It’s watery, hard to apply and comes off uneven. I’d rather spend more on a nice Essie or Nailsinc Nail polish, or even an H&M one works way better. 

Next on a positive note again, products featured below work well and are on my to-buy list.

  • This Shisedo sunscreen is only sold in Asia and it works so well under makeup, doesn’t flake or alter the color or texture of anything you apply afterwards. It’s also water proof.

  • The Hard Candy makeup setting spray is a good product for its $6 price tag. It might squirt out too much liquid but it doesn’t sting your eyes and helps your makeup last longer on your face. 

The below are better-than-average products that I might or might not buy again. 

  • The Drunk Elephant day serum is in both photos above as I’m still on the fence. It could sting the face a little bit and it helps brightening the skin tone but it also tends to dry out a bit. The Drunk Elephant AHA night serum (the pink bottle that’s not here) that came in the same set is great though and I already bought a second bottle (it’s quite pricy so I got it during the Sephora 20% off sale).
  • The Clinique acne solutions serum is just okay, while the Clinique acne solutions clearing gel is amazing! It flattens out the red bumps overnight and I already bought the full size after trying it out.

Next are a few makeup removers that I used up. 

I probably will not buy any of these again. 

  • The Clarins eye remover is very gentle but it somehow takes my lashes out and is a bit dry under my eyes.
  • The Boscia clearing oil starts to break me out and I have found 2 better clearing oil that are way better, one from Dermologica and the other from Amore Pacific. Try these out if you are looking for a decent makeup remover oil that doesn’t cause any acne issues and can melt off makeup completely.


  • I don’t like the soy candle, the yes to hand soap and the LA girl concealer anymore after using them for the past month. The hand soap for some reason became irritating especially after I wash my hands for contact lenses. My fingers will sting my eyes after using it. 

I wanted to end the post with an uplifting spirit by sharing a few nice, soothing masks that I enjoyed in the past few weeks.

There you have it, my massive beauty empties and now I need to take a nap 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

    Miscellaneous empties – body, hair, food…

    I’ve been gathering a bag of empty bottles and cans since July and the bag is finally filled up and I’m ready to let it all go 🙂 Maybe gathering these empty containers makes me feel a weird sense of comfort and achievement. Anyways, I don’t want to bore you with a dozen of pictures so I just wanted to show you two.

    The photo below features a few of my favorite repurchases, and I probably will continue to stick to these staples in the upcoming months/years. I wanted to give a shout out to the Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt and the ACT mouthwash.

    I’ve yet to find any alternative that will work as great as the Sea Salt shampoo. It cleans all residue and excessive oil from my scalp and leaves my hair very fluffy and clean. You only need a tiny bit each time to massage it into your scalp then foam it up with water. A deeply moisturizing hair conditioner or oil spray will work better with this shampoo as it tends to dry out the hair ends a bit. I use it at least once every week (more frequently in the summer time). In my opinion, this is worth every penny. You can buy it at Sephora here.

    I’ve used up countless bottles of ACT mouthwash as it’s probably the most mild mouthwash I’ve ever tried. The minty flavor is refreshing but not overwhelming.

    September empties.jpg

    Products in the photos below are not bad. They are just kind of “meh”. I will not repurchase these as I’ve found better choices in each category.

    September empties 2.jpg

    Thanks for reading and hope you have a good weekend!



    August beauty empties part 2 – feat. Estée Lauder, Korres, La Prairie

    iTo follow up on my previous post, I wanted to share the rest of beauty products I’ve used up recently and my mini reviews as usual. This time it’s mostly high-end skincare products.

    Unlike makeup, I’m much more picky when it comes to skincare. I only repurchase things with visible results. If you’ve been using skincare products that you feel do nothing to your skin, don’t think all things are created equal and skincare products are all similar placebos.  They are NOT. If you take some time to explore and research, you will find better products out there that can help make your skin plumper, softer and brighter, if not immediately at least in a few weeks. Don’t simply dismiss the technology and R&D research investment these beauty companies have achieved over the past decades.

    In the empties above, the only thing I’m going to consider repurchase is the Dr.Dennis Gross alpha beta peel pads. These are acid pads so they will sting a little bit especially if you have sensitive skin but it doesn’t make your skin red like some other acid products do. The results are almost instant as you will find your skin a little brighter and clearer after a few uses. I highly recommend it to people with acne and uneven pigmentation issues.

    The Amika dry shampoo smells so much better than all the other dry shampoos I’ve tried but it doesn’t really help add volume and texture to my hair which is what I’m looking for in a dry shampoo so I will not repurchase. I will also not repurchase the Estee Lauder advanced night repair serum. I didn’t find any other results from using it diligently for a few months at night except for hydration and there are so many good serum out there if you are just looking for moisturizing results.

    I might repurchase the Clarins Iris alcohol free toner as it offers decent refreshing and clearing effects I’m looking for in a toner in the summer time.

    I will definitely repurchase the La Prairie eye serum despite its hefty price tag. This small bottle works wonders in reducing fine lines and dry lines under the eyes if you use it on a daily basis. Since I’ve switched to other eye serum, I noticed how the lines under my eyes become more obvious over time. So this is something worth a splurge.

    I was disappointed in the Korres brightening facial mask. Although it does make your face a little bit brighter, the smell was overwhelming and skincare products in general should not use a lot of fragrance to avoid inflammation and irritation.

    I was also not impressed with the Ole Henriksen overnight resurfacer. Although it claims to treat your skin hyperpigmentation and breakout  problems, it didn’t create any visible improvement to my skin texture. It also doesn’t agree with other cream I apply after it at night. I’m glad I only bought a tiny jar to try it out. The only Ole Henriksen product I like is its orange bottle of vitamin serum.

    This Garnier cleansing water is only available in UK. It feels exactly the same as water and doesn’t create any oily film some people get with the Garnier micellar water in the US. I think it is a tiny bit better than the one sold in the US but it’s probably not worth the trouble to buy it from there.

    These are most of my recen beauty empties and hopefully you find it helpful. Thanks for stopping by!